Peterborough Phantoms’ proud winning streak against basement boys Bracknell was extended with a minimum of fuss last night (January 23).
Man-of-the-moment Craig Scott’s early brace set the city side on their way to a 16th successive English Premier League triumph against the Bees as they ran out 4-1 winners at Planet Ice.
Scott picked up from where he left off following his hat-trick heroics as Phantoms slammed fierce rivals Milton Keynes to reach the EPL Cup final last week.
He struck twice in the opening five minutes of this contest with Milan Baranyk providing the assist on both occasions.
Bees netminder Alex Mettam made a couple of smart stops to deny him a quickfire hat-trick in between those two efforts.
Phantoms had to wait until the second period to strike again when a Darius Pliskauskas shot from out wide deceived Mettam, but their cushion was reduced to two goals when Matt Foord tapped in for the visitors at the back post.
Coach Slava Koulikov still decided he could afford to give netminder Janis Auzins an early night with Adam Long taking over between the pipes for the final session and recording a seven-shot shut-out. The Phantoms coach had also rested forwards Marc Levers and Edgars Bebris after the opening period.
The final addition to the scoreline came just 21 seconds after the puck dropped in the third period. Lloyd Gibson provided the finishing touch to some slick passing.
The crossbar denied Baranyk another goal while defenceman Tom Norton couldn’t provide a finish touch after Pliskauskas had put the puck on a plate for him.
Koulikov said: “Emotions were high and we used a lot of energy in the cup game against MK last Wednesday.
“It can sometimes be tough in the next game after a night like that. I don’t think we played particularly well for the majority of the game, but we did the job of getting the two points.
“It was important to start the weekend well and the two early goals from Craig, who is playing magnificently at the moment, gave us a great start.
“We were able to get some rest into some of the guys and I was pleased with the way some of the younger lads performed as we gave them more ice time.”
Phantoms remain third in the EPL standings after last night’s success. They continue to trail leaders Basingstoke by seven points.
Koulikov’s side face a tough trip to reigning champions Telford tonight (6pm).
1:48 Scott ass: Baranyk/Auzins
4:20 Scott ass: Baranyk/Norton
23:29 Pliskauskas ass: J. Ferrara/R. Ferrara
40:21 Gibson ass: J. Ferrara/Pliskauskas
36:01 Foord ass: Kostourek/Antonov
Phantoms – Craig Scott
Bracknell – Valya Antonov